Feb 24, 2014

Mushroom - Bell Pepper Stir Fry

Simple ingredients put together and  brought to your table!!!

Mushrooms and bell peppers are those veggies that  cooks very fast in about 2 minutes which retains both crunch and flavor. Both of these vegetables have high water content, cooking too much makes mushrooms leathery and capsicum soggy. Just to add a little kick, these veggies  are tossed  in coriander powder, chat masala, green chilies and curry leaves.

Thanks to my sister Vaishnavi (we fondly call her as Indu :-) ) shared this recipe with me.


200 gms Mushrooms, diced
1 Green Bell pepper, cubed
1 Small Onion, diced
3 Green Chilies, finely chopped
Few curry leaves
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp  Oil
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Chat Masala
1/4 tsp pepper (optional)


  • In a wok, on high heat; add oil, Mustard seeds, curry leaves,  and green chilies. Give a little stir. Immediately add onions and bell pepper. Stir in for a minute

  • Add coriander powder and chat masala

  • Add mushrooms and toss it on high heat. Season it with salt and pepper

  • Serve immediately as a side dish

Additional Notes:
Use grape seed oil or Extra virgin olive oil to make it a guilt free recipe. 

Feb 17, 2014

Aloo - Channa Chat

A low calorie and oil-free snack made effortlessly. Pre-cooked boiled potatoes and dry black chick pea are tossed in a spicy tangy sauce. I prefer to make the sauce fresh because all the flavors are imparted in this chutney. The savory sauce is made up of tamarind pulp, sugar, red chili powder, chat masala, coriander powder and cumin powder. 

This recipe can be either served as a salad or as a evening snack. It tastes best when served cold.  


1 Potato
1 cup Dry Black Chickpea
1 Lemon
Few sprigs of Cilantro

For the sauce
1/4 cup Freshly squeezed tamarind pulp
1/2 tsp Raw sugar (or any sweetener)
1/4 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Chat masala


  • Cook potato in a pot of boiling water until fork tender. Peel of the skin and cut into small cubes
  • Soak dry black chickpea in water for 3-5 hours. Then wash chickpea in running cold water. Cook in a pressure cooker for 10 -15 minutes with 3 cups of water. Drain excess water. (you can retain this water which can be used as a base to prepare soups and curries)
  • In a pan, mix all the ingredients  and bring it to boil
  • In a bowl, mix potatoes, boiled chickpeas and sauce. Season it with salt, then add lemon juice and garnish with coriander
  • Serve wither warm or chilled
Additional notes~
Further in this recipe, you can embellish with chopped red onions and pomogranate

Feb 13, 2014

Capsicum Varuval

Capsicum varuval is a simple and a tasty side dish for yogurt rice (Thayir Sadham ). We make this scrumptious and juicy dish when capsicum is cheap and available in abundance. 

This veggie delicacy  just needs dry rub to coat capsicum and shallow fry in oil. The dry rub consists of turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Capsicum is slow cooked until it sweats in oil and becomes translucent. The lightly colored brown spots in capsicum adds an additional bonus to the flavor.


4 Medium sized Green Bell peppers
4 tsp Oil
1/3 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Red Chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder


  • Cut the bell peppers in quarts with crown intact

  • Make a smooth paste of all the spices with a little water and season it with salt

  • Apply the spice mixture inside the capsicum without breaking it

  • Heat oil in a pan. Place the bell peppers close to each other and cook in low heat. Rotate occasionally until it turns transparent
  • Serve it as a side dish with curd rice, sambhar or type of lentil curry

Feb 11, 2014

Thayir Sadham

Thayir Sadham is called yogurt rice is a simple and easy meal mostly in southern states in India. Warm rice is mixed with yogurt and seasoned with different condiments. In particular,  freshly grated raw ginger is added to boost its flavor which has several health benefits. 

This recipe is prepared in Bhramin style  which means no onion & no garlic. In many temples, curd rice is served as prasadam. It is also said that curd rice aids digestion. Usually in weddings or in any functions, after a heavy course meal; it is finished with curd rice.


  • In summer milk is also added to prevent yogurt getting sour
  • Fruits like pomegranate and grapes are also added. Apart from these even roasted cashew nut are also added
Cooking time: 35 -40 min | Serves - 2


1 cup of Rice (uncooked)
4 cups of Yogurt
1/2 cup of Milk (optional)
1 inch piece Ginger, grated
1 Green Chili, finely chopped (optional)
 Handful of Cilantro, finely chopped

For Seasoning~
2 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Channa dal
A sprig of Curry leaves
2 nos Red chili


  • Cook rice with 2 1/2 cups of water. After rice has cooked mash rice with a ladle
  • Mix rice with yogurt, milk, ginger, green chili, cilantro and salt
  • In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, channa dal, curry leaves and red chili. When it starts to sizzle, pour the seasoning to the curd rice and mix well

Additional Notes:
  • Adjust the thickness of yogurt and rice as per your choice. Rice tends to absorb yogurt when left for long. You can add little water or milk to brng down to right consistency.
  • I have used fat free yogurt. You can use yogurt from whole milk to make it more creamy

Jan 30, 2014

Mor Kuzhambu

Mor Kuzhambu is a South Indian stew made from sour yogurt. Every state in India has its own version of yogurt based curry. This curry is prepared in Tamil-Bhramin style with no onion and garlic. 

Its a delicious curry can be done in a jiffy. Vegetables like ash gourd, cucumber, chow chow and  okra can be added to this recipe. It is served mainly with steamed rice. 


1 Cucumber (or Okra, ash gourd, chow chow), cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups Yogurt, beaten

For masala - 
1 tsp Bengal gram, soak in water for 20 minutes
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
3 Green Chilies
1 inch piece of Ginger

For tempering -
2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
5-6 Curry leaves
1 Red Chili


  • Cook cucumber in a cup of boiling water for 2-3 minutes

  • Make a smooth paste of all the ingredients listed in masala

  • Add the masala paste to the cooked cucumber and season it with salt. Simmer in low heat for 2-3 minutes

  • Add beaten yogurt. Season with salt. Adjust thickness of curry by adding water (I normally don't add water. Like to keep curry thick)

  • Temper with oil,  mustard seeds, Cumin seeds, curry leaves and red chili. Pour it on top of curry 

  • Serve hot with steam rice

Additional notes ~
  • If you want to add okra, fry okra first in oil. Do not cook in water and add it towards  the end
  • Do not reheat this curry, since yogurt curdle
  • Don't add too much water. This curry needs to be thick. Also, use minimum water while cooking vegetables

Kadala Parippu Sundal

Kadala Parippu Sundal is another variety of sundal. This recipe is healthy, less oily and a great side dish. Cooked Bengal gram are blended with mustard seeds, asafoetida, chilies, curry leaves and cilantro. 

This recipe is a low calorie diet with good source dietary fiber, protein, copper and magnesium. Boiled bengal gram is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Definitely worth to try !!


1 cup Bengal gram
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 small Onion, finely chopped
A sprig of curry leaves
1 Green Chili, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
Handful of Cilantro, finely chopped
Freshly grated coconut for garnish (optional)
1/2 tsp lemon juice (optional)


  • Soak Bengal gram in water for 20 minutes. Cook Bengal gram in a large pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. Season it with little salt. Drain and wash in running cold water

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, green chilies and curry leaves. Give it a little stir. Then add onions and sweat until it softens

  • Add Bengal gram and 1/4 cup of water. Season it with salt. Cook for 5 minutes

  • Turn of heat. Add cilantro, freshly grated coconut and lemon juice

Jan 29, 2014

Methi Tomato Pappu

Methi tomato pappu is a lentil based Andhra curry and heart warming dish. This dal is loaded with moong dal, fenugreek leaves and tomato. 

This recipe is so versatile that it can be either served as a lentil soup or with rice and chapathi. It can be prepared in just no time in about 15- 20 minutes. 

Fenugreek leaves has many health benefits. It helps to reduce LDL-Cholesterol, triglyceride and high blood sugar levels in diabetics. On the other hand, moong dal is a super food for weight loss and detoxifies the body.


1 cup Moong dal
1 bunch of Fenugreek leaves, (keep only leaves, discard stem)
1 Tomato
1/2 tsp Lemon juice (optional)

For tempering~
2 tsp Ghee
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
3 Green Chilies, slit lengthwise
A sprig of Curry leaves


  • Pressure cook moong dal, fenugreek leaves and tomato with 3 cups of water

  • Heat ghee in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, green chilies and curry leaves. When it starts to sizzle, pour the season on top of cooked dal

  • Season with salt and add lemon juice
  • Serve hot

Jan 28, 2014

Black Eyed Peas Sundal

 Need fast and easy recipe ? Then this is the recipe calling you and the entire family !! 

Black eyed peas sundal is another version of sundal recipe.This is a protein rich food and a great evening snack.

Cooked black eyed peas are tempered with Indian condiments like mustard seeds, asafoetida (hing), onions, chilies and  curry leaves. To elevate flavors freshly grated coconut and lemon juice can also be added. 


1 cup Black eyed peas, soak in water for 3-4 hours
3 tsp oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 small Onion, finely chopped
A sprig of curry leaves
3 Green Chilies, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
Handful of Cilantro, finely chopped
Freshly grated coconut for garnish (optional)
1/2 tsp lemon juice (optional)


  • Cook black eyed peas either in pressure cooker for upto 2 whistles or in a large pot of boiling water for about 15- 20 minutes. Drain excess water. Retain water for making curries or soups

  • In a sauce pan, heat Oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chilies and onions. Saute until onions are transparent

  • Add cooked black eyed peas and season it with salt. Saute for 2-3 minutes

  • Turn off heat. Add cilantro, freshly grated coconut and lemon juice. Mix well
  • Serve warm

Mushroom Tomato Masala

Mushroom Tomato Masala is a quick and easy recipe something for everyone. It goes very well with rice and chapathi. Its an elegant recipe making your veggies less boring!!

Mushrooms comes in very handy to make a simple meal. It cooks very fast. This recipe involves basic ingredients from your pantry. Sauteed mushrooms are tossed in with tomato gravy and seasoned with chili powder, garam masala and coriander powder.


250 gms Mushrooms, Sliced
4 tsp Oil, divided
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1 large Onion, thinly sliced
4 Tomatoes, finely chopped
5 Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Cumin powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder


  • Saute mushrooms on high heat seasoned with turmeric, salt and 2 tsp of oil. For just 2-3 min. Keep it aside

  • Heat remaining oil, in the same pan. Add ginger - garlic paste. Give it a little stir

  • Add Onions. Saute until it tuns transparent

  • Add coriander powder, garam  masala and red chili powder. Mix well

  • Add tomatoes and cook until it turns mushy 

  • Add mushrooms .Season it with salt and sprinkle little cumin powder  

  • Serve hot with rice or chapathi

Ginger Chutney

Chilly weather calls for spicy and comfort food. Truly a recipe from Andhra, this chutney is  served as  main accompaniment with pesarattu. 

Ginger chutney is a delicious and a spicy chutney made from freshly cut ginger root which stir fired and ground with several other Indian condiments. It is an exceptional dipping sauce (chutney) to elevate flavors with any Indian breakfast recipes  and deep fried fritters. 


1 1/2 cups of Ginger, chopped
2 tsp Channa dal
2 tsp Urad Dal
3-4 Red Chilies (byadagi variety is very tasty)
Marble sized Tamarind, cut into small pieces
2 tsp Jaggery (gur)
2 tsp oil

For tempering ~
 2 tsp Oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
A sprig of Curry leaves


  • Saute channa dal, urad dal and red chilies with oil on a preheated pan until it turns golden brown. Next add tamarind and ginger root, saute on medium heat for 10 minutes until ginger softens. Let it cool

  • Make a smooth paste of above ingredients with jaggery and salt. Adjust thickness by adding enough water

  • Temper it in oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves

  • Refrigerate and store it in an air tight container. It can last upto one week. Use a dry spoon for every use